The Irishman draws 17 million Netflix viewers in US after five days of release

(From left) Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Ray Romano in The Irishman. PHOTO: NETFLIX

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Martin Scorsese's new gangster film The Irishman was watched by an estimated 17.1 million Americans in its first five days of release on Netflix, according to Nielsen data released on Friday (Dec 6).

The estimate was the first indication of audience interest in the movie, which is expected to be a major contender at the Oscars.

Netflix has never won the coveted best picture Academy Award.

By comparison, last December's Netflix thriller Bird Box,starring Sandra Bullock, scored nearly 26 million US viewers in its first seven days of availability.

Netflix said at the time that Bird Box was watched by 45 million members worldwide in its first seven days of release in December 2018.

The Irishman, which stars Robert de Niro and Al Pacino, has already picked up multiple critics awards despite a limited release in US movie theatres in November, after an impasse in negotiations for a longer rollout between Netflix and major theatre chains.

The Irishman and its lead actors and director are expected to be nominated for Golden Globe awards when nominations are announced in Los Angeles today.

Oscar nominations will be out on Jan 13.

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